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Soma 4, Harrison 3, San Francisco 3, Wu 2, Antonini 2, Townsend 1, Sally 1, Hillis 1, Mr. Goodman 1, Us 1, Borden 1, Soabl 1, The City 1, Costco 1,
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  SFGTV    [untitled]  

    November 20, 2012
    3:00 - 3:30am PST  

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and we believe this raises questions about the adequacy of this plan to address long-term housing needs especially considering enormous investment into the corridor plan. we don't believe that western soma doesn't take advantage of the e eir capacity. we have talked about architects and rear yard setbacksis better understood as a land banking plan than promote the type of urban youth we would like to see. we question why the zoning administrator is
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prevented from making rulings in western soma he might be able to make in other parts of the city and regarding that gap on impact fees where do the fees come from if a plan is designed to restrict development? we think it has a lot of work to do on it yet. thank you. >> good afternoon commissioners, i am kowg cane and hotel designer and developer. as you can see there is going to be a lot of conflict over this particular western soma district. i would like to call your attention to three zones of influence which have not been discussed today and those three zones are specifically mid-market development and the grocery store zone. i call it a zone. that is from trader joes all the way to food co including rainbow and costco which is
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really the grocery shopping area of the city and to a lesser extent the eastern neighborhoods housing restrictions which work with the mid-market development to really encourage development in this area in western soma, and if you take housing off the table west of harrison then you're going to leave a vast number of lots that are right now parking lots, car lots, or under lose used -- facilities and could be housing down the line. as i recall the housing was going to be about 6,000 plus units and now 6,000 plus 200 units. it's not addressing the needs of the mid-market workers and those people that want to live close to housing. the
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other thing i wanted to bring up which wasn't mentioned here is hotels. i know cory and jim worked long and hard on this and i know hotels is a peripheral component but it's a major employer in san francisco and there are programs at san francisco state and city college and right now the hotels are restricted to 75 rooms and 25 along folsom and frankly it's just not going to have many hotels built under those restrictions. in fact i would suggest probably none and i think the hotel rooms count need to go beyond townsend and clear need for it. there is not enough in the city and major employer and where you get jobs and no hotels along folsom and they have taken that out of the marketplace, so i think you've got to go upwardos both locations. thank you.
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>> thank you. >> is there additional public comment? okay. commissioners i will give you an option. if you would like to take a break now this item went longer and more in-depth and take a break with commissioner comments we can do that. i see some heads bobbing. so the commission is going to take a short break and come back to this item. thank you.> i wo everyone back to san francisco planning commission regular hearing for november 15, 2012. we left off in the middle of your regular calendar item 12, the western soma community plan informational presentation number two and we just concluded public comment commissioners. >> commissioners, comments? questions? commissioner antonini. >> thank you. i appreciate the
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presentation. with the neighborhood districts in folsom seems like a logical place for that zoning. i'm a little bit concerned -- i would have to hear about no maximum density in some of the residential -- you know the red districts where the district residents are and some of them are finely grained and might be fine with machine is comfortable in the two unit building and then there are eight unit building and i'm not sure this applies to new building or existing and if it's existing it could change the
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whole complexion or climate in a small quiet cult sack or red district, and the same for the parking maximums. i think i would need to know more about what it says and one size doesn't fit all and some places should have more parking allowed. i think mixed use makes sense. we dictated that we have housing above ground floor retail and it sits empty forever. just because you zone today for that, adjust because you created it doesn't mean somebody is going to occupy the space, so having the flexibility to mix and match a little bit more with the idea or probably the idea that the lower floor
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has to be of a higher height and doesn't necessarily have to be retail or office or other things. that's probably a good idea. when we get into the area of 11th street, and i maybe wrong. i'm not sure i get all of the classifications right but i am sort of in agreement with option 1b that has been suggested by a lot of people. there is also a 1c -- i misspoke. i said 3b which is the option that would allow office but not new housing. it would i believe allow entertainment as a right, and it would allow for entertainment that gets burned down or
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somehow demolished it could be put back again. maybe i could get clarification from staff the difference between 3b and c? i don't see the difference between the two of them. >> sure. 3b would basically rezone that corridor to dmo and allow office or entertainment and not residential. the difference with 3c it would also rezone the alleys adjacent to the corridor of rads and what that would do is then cause that 11th street corridor to fall within one of the 200 buffers around the rads that prohibits night time entertainment use so you would effectively have the corridor and no new night time entertainment use or residential use and from the perspective
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that corridor would be static but it would introduce the office as a permitted use on that corridor. >> okay. i think i understand so option 3b is more favorable to the entertainment option but c would be -- would not allow new entertainment uses in there. i am not entirely sure of these but that's my inclination. my feeling is many of the spaces are already entertainment uses. legal is legal non conforping and allowed to go on and maybe there were exceptions. there was a gentleman who spoke, mr. goodman and talked about a site he has and i'm not sure exactly where that is. is that within the aws pinses of the 11
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ethstreet zoning. >> yes. essentially across the street from slims. >> okay. it's one of the spaces on the map that is marked in whatever color we're using -- >> it's actually not designated as a soft site because it is developed right now as the purple building but the proposal is to demolish that building and develop it as housing. >> the other consideration i might be interested in learning about is some kind of a middle ground if a project was begun 10 or five years ago and grandfathered if the investor decided to go go ahead and what they were doing and housing and good instillation i am not opposed to that grandfathering thing but to encourage more housing in the future for what
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is in process i don't know if that is a good idea. it's a fairly small zone and we have the rest of the area for housing. although the other thing that concerns me a little bit is when you look at some of the zoning the sally apparently does not allow housing. am i correct about that -- housing or office? and you have areas that are pretty much pdr and i would have to look at that closer to make sure it makes sense to restrict things for those areas that are fairly large. many many of the uses are already industrial uses and viable. that is one i would have to look at a little bit closer, and the other thing somebody brought up
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about the differences in restricting the zoning administrator as not the case for the rest of the city. i'm not sure why we're making this more restrictive on the powers of the zoning administrative and mentioned about restrictions on deck and these are some of the details we have to look at as we work our way through the plan and there is a lot of detail and this is the first day we are getting into the nuts and boltds but those are my general feelings on the overview. >> commissioner wu. >> thank you. overall i am supportive of the plan as is. i think there should be some sort of compromise on 11. my opinion is office is probably better suited to be compatible with night time entertainment rather than housing so i believe 3b points us in that direction but
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curious if other commissioners have thoughts. >> commissioner hillis. >> just a couple of questions on the proposal and the options on 11thth street. when we say something is grandfathered in and not allowable but grandfathered in like paradise lounge that is vacant could that be used as a club if this passes and it's not used now and stop its in the future. >> the code sets parameter for legal non conforming use. if you're legal when you went in you can continue to operate if the zoning changes and no longer permit but there are rules of abandonment and essentially if you are vacant for more than three years you can be considered abandoned in terms of the use, so specifically yeah you can have turnover and
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tenants for some amount of time. it doesn't have to be the same tenant forever for legal non conforming use but at some point it's abandoned, or if the owners of that building put in a different use, put in a restaurant and later wanted to go back to a night time entertainment use they wouldn't be able to do that. if you have a legal non conforming use you need to keep it in operation without abandonment. >> so slims could close and come back as something different and allow to do that? >> yes. paradise was only paradise lounge for only so long. i can't remember what was there before that but it wasn't that long it was something different. >> right. and under the proposals an entertainment use is proposed and allowed is there a cu for that or under the other options and entertainment use and allow --
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>> under those options we're basically taking the sally zoning or the wmou zoning and extending it there and the districts south of harrison the idea is it would be opened up for night time entertainment use and unless we specifically made it conditional use on that corridor and for implementation purposes could be tricky, but as the options are before you it's permitted as a right. >> okay. i don't mind housing and maybe it's housing in these adjacency areas too and to approve with certain conditions like better sound proofing that could allow it to happen. i am concerned about the others and two and three and have the entire corridor to be night time entertainment with the other spaces. that would happen and have this one block concentration of entertainment
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uses, so i don't mind 2a and 2b, but i would at least like to see if it's expanded beyond the current uses and maybe cu and something now a restaurant within that district becomes an entertainment use. that's not done as of right but as a cu process but the one are there grand forthed in -- >> intl something along those lines. >> i would offer a few comments and i am confused by the optionses and i get the tone there is restrictive compared to other plans that we looked at. i think mr. meeko pointed out why clubs move to the area and my recollection in the 80's there were few residents there and body shops and pdr and there
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were people living there but you were there as well and that's why larger clubs and footprints ended up there, so whatever this turns into, it evolves into i think we should set it up so there is a little little flexibility, room for creativity, entrepreneurship. this plan is prescriptive. i'm not sure it allows for that or not but i'm looking forward to learning more and hearing more. commissioner borden. >> i think i kind of agree with what commissioner wu said -- 3b, i was looking at that and i do believe every week almost with restaurants that have music that people consider too loud, issues in the corridor and people complaint about restaurant usage and don't necessarily have amplified music and sound and i know there is a challenge of
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having more lively restaurants sometimes in neighborhood commercial corridors. i personally don't like when too many things are legal non conforping. i think we always see that as a challenge in the code. if there is a preponderance of use in a area and ideally like the part of the plan and what is the existing and that is my rational for favoring something like 3b. the other thing i do believe that office is more compatible use with the night time use and day time use and you can have night time use and create other sources of income and revenue for those buildings or property owners so that the two uses could co-exist and i know entertainment has the peaks and valleys for the financial success for them and having other options in the neighborhood would be worth while as well, and i think it would encourage restaurants and
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other uses, not just night life to be in the neighborhood. maybe a restaurant that has live entertainment. i do have a couple questions -- i saw -- you mentioned about no vertical architecture elements. i just wanted to understand what is the rational behind that? >> sure. so there were a number of design components as part of the neighborhoods that were codified, and one of those things tended to be, and if you look at the urban form elements of the area plans and mission and soma there is a emphasis on emphasizing the corners and through the community process and especially the people on the task force focused more on design didn't necessarily favor that course, and even though in
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eastern neighborhoods you have a large project you can propose one vertical architectural element and it can be fairly high and not inhabitant and just a design feature. most times it's proposed or comes forward it's at a corner and there is that tie in there and just as a design feature. it's not something the task force felt they wanted in western soma. >> i don't have a huge opinion about it but i was wondering -- particularly with larger lots and harrison street it's appropriate. if folsom wasn't going to be two way it might be appropriate. again i don't have any strong feelings. i just wanted to understand that. the other thing you have no bonuses for making open space publicly accessible and i wanted to understand the rational behind
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that and that might discourage developers from creating open spaces that are publicly accessible. >> sure. this is a common situation where you have competing goals. in western soma there is not a lot of open space and in eastern neighborhoods are you provided to require 80 square feet whether private decks or common courtyards but publicly soabl it's 54 and provide half so you could provide less open space in exchange for making it publicly accessible. in this situation it was determined publicly accessible is good if that is enough of an incentive they don't want 50% of the open space reduced by a third. they want to generate as much open space as possible and that is obviously an issue in western
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soma. >> again if we could figure out a way to make it you reach both goals so maybe not do the reduction like eastern neighborhoods but there is some incentive to do more publicly accessible space. i would hate for people to design -- there is motivation and i don't know what it is that is a nexus on what we're trying to accomplish. another question is about notification of the i know the task force met and i have been on the email notice for the entire time i get the notices and canceled or going on and i know in eastern neighborhoods even at the end there were people all of a sudden the rezoning process was happening and to their lots. when do or -- since the in factiation and
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people in the area, property owners gotten notice about the rezoning? >> so there are two parts to that. the notices are in the process of going out in terms of mail and newspaper notices for the adoption hearing and go to all the of the property owners and within 300 feet of the boundaries. other meetings like today are done more informally through the task force and not so much pliew the planning department so you can ask mr. meeko if you want to expand on that. >> i just want notice -- and there are areas where office buildings and sally and just the way the zoning happens to be right now. if people are in a position it's going to be legal non conforming is there any
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notice they get that lets them know that? >> there is not a special notice for that. a lot of situations in this are already legal non conforming uses and in the night time entertainment they are and they're not permitted and office in the area and it's not permitted anywhere in western soma and those two uses and everybody that exists, everybody that is legal and exists are probably non conforming uses. in terms of creating new non conforming uses there is none of that but a good one is the creation of pdr in bay view as well as other examples. >> i think the notice is just important because we get people at the last minute that who didn't realize this was going on because they didn't get a legal notice and people don't see
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things until they're in front of their faces anyway, and i guess the other question about the notification. okay. now you're going to have legal non conforming uses and some knew that but they were allowed to exist. is there like the eastern neighborhoods some amnecessity or process by which you are doing letters of determination? what is the process if you're existing legal non conforping office use and now we're going to be zoning you in the sallies and making you permanently non conforming what do -- say they want add more office space what do they do? >> sure. anybody already a legal non conforming use and remain that way things basically stay the same. they can't expand today or tomorrow and
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maybe a little with a conditional use but can't add new use and it's funny you mentionedda that r the amesty program and it was extended and tuesday was the last day and what is front you there is no program like that proposed and no specific pipeline for grandfathered projects either eastern neighborhoods included. >> correct me if i am wrong and that was for buildings that didn't have permits. it's a different situation. >> that's true. >> they can legally proceed. >> yes. that means they got the legal approvals at the time they went in and the zoning changed after the fact that made them no longer legal and the legitimate program and programs that could have gotten the approval you but
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didn't get them or maybe didn't pay the impact fees and couldn't legalize under the zoning and maybe went to another one and office was not permitted and gave them an opportunity when originally going in -- >> like the areas with the old sli was more vague. it was fairly permissive if i remember correctly than the sally was? no? >> not really. in terms of offices and housing under the sli there are two small ways to get that so for housing only if 100% affordable housing and for the other one is work space for design professionals and narrow and have to be on the third floor or above and certain feet
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and it's prescriptive and i don't know anyone that took advantage of it. >> i am just wondering and i know there are offices -- >> yeah and some went in before and some did not. >> and in the case of this gentleman talking about his housing project since he filed the application previously how is that treated? does he pay a fee? i mean is that grandfathered in? >> generally if there is no grandfathered provision added it's subject to the law when gets required entitlement or when it's issued and we will look into that specifically more but if they have it and not issued -- if it got rezoned and
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theoretically couldn't move forward unless the grandfatherrerring was in place. >> i guess in context and mentioned it and in the context of 11th street and maybe you could discuss options with 11th street and how that would work and in terms of what is actually out there, in terms of what people are proposing. that would be useful. thanks. >> commissioner antonini. >> thank you and talk about this 11th street corridor and i earlier stated my preference for what i believe is wmuo which is option 3b and one of the reasons it would also allow office and presumably allow retail in that